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QUESTION TIME | Dear Dr M,

I read with consternation and dismay how you urged civil servants to help lift sections of the rakyat out of poverty. Here’s the gist of what you said from Malaysiakini:

"Do not wait for the government's assistance as this would make us dependent on the government, and those who depend on the government, surely they are not in a secure spot. On the contrary, they would be able to increase their income through their own efforts.

"This is what the government officers need to inform the rakyat (people) from the poor community, why they need to work hard to address their problems and not to depend on financial aid from the government."

I appreciate what you are trying to do - to get the poor to do something about their own state, but they have also been badly let down by previous governments, including your own previous 22-year stint as PM.

During this period, the New Economic Policy or NEP, introduced post the racial riots in 1969, focused much more on bumiputera ownership of corporate wealth, with less emphasis on the two key prongs, which are eradication of poverty irrespective of race and eliminating the identification of race with occupation...

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